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State officials can hear secrets too

Governors and other local and state officials likely will get more access to classified information from the Feds, according to a new executive order signed by President Obama. The order is the White House's attempt to try to make its processes for sharing classified information with non-federal officials more formalized.

The executive order doesn't change previous orders on national security classification or who gets access to secrets, but it is meant to increase the sharing of classified information among officials at all levels.

Steve Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists said that "the closest thing to a policy innovation in the new order seems to be a provision that a duly elected or appointed Governor of a State or territory... may be granted access to classified information without a background investigation."

But there's a catch. The person has to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and if "disqualifying conduct as determined by the clearance granting official" is absent, the individual can hear the classified information.

By Dana Hedgpeth  |  August 24, 2010; 8:28 AM ET
 | Tags: Clearances, Obama Administration  
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